That’s what e.e. cummings reportedly shouted out his window on Patchin Place, the West Village gated alley where he and fellow writer Djuna Barnes were neighbors for many overlapping years.
Barnes had been a true Bohemian, moving to Greenwich Village in the teens and advocating free love, sleeping with both men and women. After years spent in Europe (where the photo at left was taken in 1925), she moved to Patchin Place in 1940.
And she never left. Barnes made her home in that one-room flat for 42 years, her $49.50 per month rent paid for by a stipend.
Today, a plaque commemorates cummings’ home at #4. But no plaque marks #5, even though Barnes was a literary heavyweight. Her 1936 novel Nightwood was lauded by T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas.
The photo at right, of Barnes posing beside the Patchin Place gate, was taken in 1962 by e.e. cummings’ wife, poet Marion Morehouse.